Sunday, January 22, 2012

pride&humility:ordinary friendship


a high or inordinate opinion of one's own dignity, importance, merit, or superiority, whether as cherished in the mind or as displayed in bearing, conduct, etc.


 modest opinion or estimate of one's own importance, rank, etc.

while these two characteristics may seem to be opposite i am convinced that they are better friends than we would like to admit, well at least in the christian circle. 

we say that those who are proud know not how to be humble and those who live in humility are practically allergic to pride. and because of this very reason the enemy loves to bring a friendship about between the two. 

i believe that when the Lord is constantly acknowledged and submitted to in one's life then true humility will arise in a beautiful way. when the Lord is absent, not acknowledged, or not even known at all pride makes sense. when you aren't living for Christ it makes sense that you should be living for self. but what about when Christ is known and the Lord is acknowledged, but not every day? 

the friendship between pride and humility begins to develop. 

the knowledge of Christ will keep us from being full of pride because we know better, yet because we are not acknowledging Him every day we will do things that aren't glorifying to the Lord. when that happens our pride steps in tells us to keep putting on a good face. 

our pride brings us to a place of false humility. 
we want to be humble. 
we want to be selfless.
we want to glorify the Lord.
but we have things that we are ashamed of. 
things we want to keep hush-hush.
things that might make others look at us differently.
we have weakness that we don't want to admit.
but if we were truly humble wouldn't we step into a place of vulnerability?
admit our faults, reveal our weakness.

you would think. 

however, i think i have been living in a place of prideful humility. 

my pride has built me up in my own mind to think that i have some sort of reputation. 
that others see me as someone who has it together. 
how prideful? 
i mean yes, i do desire to be someone that could be looked up to by younger Christians, but that should not take the place of being a truly honest, vulnerable, humble Christ follower who can admit faults, mistakes, and self pleasing acts. 

so as much as it truly truly brings me to nerves thinking about sharing i feel as though i must. 

i am human. i struggle. i am not perfect. yet Christ loves me with all the mistakes and scars that i bear.
seeing as how He is my only true judge,
the One i will take things up with in the end,
the only opinion that is worth living for,
i should be able to allow others to see me the same way that He does. 
while i know this is impossible because He sees what even i can not see of myself, i shall attempt to open the door to my humanness.
maybe it will inspire others to step out as well. 
i don't know, but i do know that i don't want to be fake. 
here is a little list of things that i know about me that many don't.
a list of things that i know others deal with, but that my pride has tried to convince me that i am alone in...

-on a daily basis i live into laziness. i am a creature of habit and my habit for 14 years of life was not to step into the presence of God through His Word, prayer, and worship. i struggle with fighting the laziness in order to step into spiritual disciplines.

-something that is not spoken of by girls in general is the topic of lust. before i came to know Christ i allowed myself to be in situations that weren't healthy. i had my average teenage relationships which led to the idea of sex. while i never went to that extreme my mind was open to the idea in a real way. if i don't avoid suggestive things within my day i have to give over to the Lord lustful thoughts.

-self-doubt is something i live into on a pretty regular basis. while the majority of my days are filled with ease and a strong personality that may give off confidence i easily find myself comparing to others and making a list of ways that i fall short. 

i'm sure that this is not a complete list of all my faults and shortcomings, but they are some of the major things i deal with. 

i'm not sure why i shared these things or if anyone will even read this, but there it is. 
whether you see me different in a good or bad way it doesn't matter. 
the ashley carter you know comes along with these things.
i am learning that in order for me to fight the battle of allowing pride and humility to become friends i need to acknowledge these things so i know what to fight. this is part of that. by exposing it i cannot let them live in the darkness that is provided by the shadow of pride. 

Lord, thank You for drowning me in grave and love. I know that I was not, am not, nor ever will I be worthy of the sacrifice that covers me, but You still covered me and called me Your child. I am sorry that I live for myself sometimes. I am sorry that I use gifts and talents You have given me for me and not You. I am sorry that I allow myself to live into lies. I want to give these things to You and ask for Your power and truth to triumph over the death that these things bring. You made a way for me to live life to the full and I intend on taking You up on that deal. Thank You for exposing me for the person I am. I should have no response but humility when I stand in acknowledgement of who You are and who I am not. Please take my life and have Your way. I want to taste and see Your goodness. You are worthy of more than I can give.   I don't want to waste my life living for something so insignificant as myself. I want to know You and make You known, but I can't do it without Your mercy and grace. Thank You for always being there for me even when I speak empty promises. You are Lord and You are worthy of all glory, honor, and praise. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

truth: God is good

at this moment in my life i don't feel as though i know too much. 
-i don't know where i am going next.
-i don't know what to do with all this new free time i have.
-i don't know what full time job i want to pursue.
-i don't know what each day will have in store. 

the list continues and it seems as though there will always and forever be an on going list of "i don't knows"

but there is another list. there is a list that i like to title "God is good." what's on the list? exactly that. an on going list where each line reads,
-God is good
-God is good
-God is good

-when i can't see the path in front of me, God is good
-when i feel as though i am an arrow with no direction to point, God is good
-when confusion tries to take over, God is good
-when i don't give God my best, God is good

God is good. it may be an overused phrase, it may be something that is said without thinking, it may be a statement that some choose not to believe, it may be a weekly church saying

but it is not false because our God is not false. He is ever living, breathing, moving, loving, and working for the good of those who love Him. so at the end of the day i get to proclaim the God is good. whether it be for the reason of overflowing joy, encouragement at the end of a hard day, sharing the good news of who God is to a searching the beginning of the day, throughout each moment, and at the end of each day God is good. 

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Brokenness Aside

the last season of 2011 was one of brokenness for me. 

not the brokenness you may be thinking. the brokenness i am speaking of is that of living into the broken state of humanity. no matter how many scriptures i have read, how many prayers i pleaded, all the conversations about God's goodness and holiness, community worship, participating in the end of the day i am human and i have a disease called brokenness. i was, i am, and i will always be in a broken relationship with my Creator God and Father. 

this disease seems to come in waves. days with no affects, so it seems. living in joy. telling stories of God's mercy. worshiping with an open heart. proclaiming the power of the Savior. speaking truth. living in love. and there are days where the brokenness seems to be the only option. waking to start the day, yet not intentionally speaking with Christ once throughout it. acting selfishly. doing things that Jesus would be ashamed of. not carrying His name with care, but instead dragging it through the dirt of life behind you. feeling hate towards yourself. 

but this disease will not defeat me. it can be beaten. of course, there will always be effects of it. there will be good days and bad days. there will be moments of pure brokenness. 

i recently purchased a new album put together by a group called All Sons & Daughters. the title song is Brokenness Aside. it has been speaking to me. through the entire album i have been encouraged, raw, and renewed. please take the time to listen to this song. soak it in. receive it and accept it. 

if you have the time or desire please continue to listen to this song Your Glory from the same album. i was proclaiming the goodness and power of God's glory versus living into the brokenness. it is truth. it is a prayer. it is beautiful.